I loved CCG's but really couldn't afford to build a decent deck in any. Recently, I have heard of this living card game thing and have become interested. My sister and I are big fans of the series. She is not a card player, but might give it a try. So, I have some questions for her.
1. How complex is it? Is it something someone new to CCG/LCG's can play easily?
2. We plan on splitting the factions. She is definitely taking Stark. I am definitely taking Baratheon. Martell looks cool from the mechanics description on wiki, but that is not decided. What would be the best way to divide it up with her getting the easier decks to play? Some factors:
A. Stark and Baratheon will not change. She refuses to play unless she gets Starks, and if I can't have Starks, I am getting the Baratheons.
B. If there is not too much a difference between difficulty to use, we'd rather split it up so one person gets Lannister and one gets Targeryon, and Greyjoy and Martell are similarly split so we each get two decks when we buy the starter.
Of course, if Greyjoy and Martell are better for the more experianced card player, I probably can take the bullet. But Lannisters (or Targeryons) are not that much easier than the one of them, I'll take the Lannisters (or Targeryons).
3. How necessary are the Deluxe Expansions to make good decks? While we plan on splitting costs for most things, this is one each are on our own since the other person will be getting all the cards. I realize for Greyjoy and Martell these are probably necessary.
4. What are some of the other expansions we should focus on getting first? General cards or best for X faction.
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2. The difficulty of the factions depends greatly on the build used; while a Targaryen burn/control deck has a lot of moving pieces and is definitely for "advanced" players, a Targaryen Army, Dothraki or Dragon deck is fairly straight-forward. The same can be said for any house. I would say that of all of them, the "rush" or "aggro" builds are easier to play than control builds, and as such Baratheon and Stark tend to lend themselves well to beginners.
3. The deluxe expansions are a great help for building decks primarily for the faction they're associated with. They're pretty much your first stop for expanding your existing core set deck, or starting a Martell/Greyjoy deck. Which brings us to 4. Your best bet is to play with the core set a few times, see what house you like, and then buy a second core set. This gives you the flexibility in deck building to include multiple copies of cards you like, ditch the ones you don't and begin the process of deck-building without having to introduce a truckload of cards you're unfamiliar with. From there, buy the Deluxe expansion of the house you like best, which should give you 2-3 different decks to play with total.
From there, the route is far less clear. The chapter packs are typically themed, so if you wanted to play Baratheon Wildlings you'd start with the Defenders Of The North chapter packs, but if you wanted to play Baratheon Maesters, you'd start with Secrets of Old Town. There are certain popular cards from specific chapter packs that lend themselves to specific deck archtypes, but as these change every time new chapter packs are released (or a new FAQ for the game is released), I wouldn't worry about them until you reach this point. If you want to buy chapter packs that'll generically add a new neat sub-theme to each house and add a little variety to your game, get the "Brotherhood Without Banners" chapter packs.
As a starting point, I'd encourage you to read the First Tilt articles for the Houses you're interested in over at cardgamedb. The series focuses on building a decent, fun deck with 2x Core Sets, 1 House expansion, and no more than 6 Chapter Packs (with suggestions for additional buys to improve it beyond that minimum buy-in).
CD "Amuk" Harris
"Life is a tragedy for those who feel, & a comedy for those who think." - Jean de la Bruyère
I have to give my opinion here. Do not buy a second core set as your next purchase. Everything people say about why is true… but if you decide you really want to get into the game you are better off buying the expansion for you favorite house first. This will give you two different deck lists that will introduce you (or your sister really) into deck building with tested decks that are reliable, fun, and much more interesting and coherent than any deck that two core sets will give you.
Here is my suggested buying order
Core Set #1
House Expansion (one for each of you of your favorite Core Set House)
House Expansion (one for each of you of your other Core Set House)
Core Set #2
Martell and Greyjoy Expansions
A second core set as your second purchase just doesn't give you anything more than extra cards compared to the core set (that is to say the $ to card qty value is higher in the core set, but they deck building and play experience with it is significantly reduced). If you want to be a competitive player you will need a second core set and there is no real reason to wait, but if you are playing more for fun it just isn't needed. It is always more satisfying to buy new cards than repeats of stuff you already own.
After house expansions and 2nd core set my recommended first chapter pack is Refugees of War. The pack contains a 0 cost 2str bicon for each house. Almost all decks will benefit from having 3x of their refugee to lower the gold curve and help with setups. While these characters aren't that exciting and aren't game changing when they hit the table their prevalence makes the pack the best bang for your buck.
What is your goal? If you're not going to play competitively (tournament play) you don't necessarily need to get a second core set or things like Refugees of War. In all honesty, I feel Refugees of War is horrible flavor wise. It's just a bunch of chud. >.>
On the other hand, the most recent chapter packs (Champion Cycle and Valar Cycle) have been great for awesome cards that really combine elements of great card play and great story linkage.
It's like hitting out of a phone booth!!!
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